Scottish Championship
HeartsHeart of Midlothian2HibernianHibernian1

Heart of Midlothian 2-1 Hibernian

By Keir MurrayBBC Sport Scotland

Sam Nicholson's fabulous left-footed strike and a precise penalty by Prince Buaben earned Hearts an Edinburgh derby win in the Scottish Championship.

Those goals and Farid El Alagui's fine consolation lit up a largely poor game as the rivals met on league duty below the top flight for the first time.

Hibs captain Liam Craig knocked a disputed first-half penalty wide.

And there were two red cards with Hibs' Scott Robertson booked twice and Hearts Osman Sow dismissed for using an elbow.

Injuries to goalkeepers Neil Alexander and Scott Gallacher meant Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson had to look further down the pecking order for a goalkeeper.

He opted to give Jack Hamilton his top-team debut, a player he knows well from his time working with Hearts' youth teams.

The 20-year-old's first contribution was an important one, ignoring the Hibs attackers and the din that was whipped round Tynecastle by the swirling wind to punch clear Craig's in-swinging corner.

Willie Collum sends off Hibs midfielder Scot Robertson for bringing down Prince Buaben in the box
Willie Collum sends off Hibs midfielder Scot Robertson for bringing down Prince Buaben in the box

The derby rumbled on for half-an-hour with passion and fierce challenges but precious little in the way of goalmouth action.

Hibs' strapping centre-half Michael Nelson head-flicked a Craig free-kick a few yards wide before having to leave the field to have his eye patched up after taking an accidental thump from Sow's flying elbow.

And then, controversy. Hamilton raced from his line and looked to have got a hand to clear the ball from the on-rushing Danny Handling.

However, in a split second his momentum took him into the Hibs midfielder, who was sent sprawling. Referee Willie Collum booked the goalie and awarded Hibs a penalty, which Craig sliced low and wide.

It summed up the first half, though Nicholson's half-hit shot, which produced a good save by Mark Oxley, and Jordan McGhee's 25-yard volley, which went narrowly wide, still had to come.

They fell either side of a Jordon Forster header over the Hearts bar from six yards, though his team-mate Nelson looked to have put him off as he too leapt to connect.

Jamie Walker came on for fellow wide man Billy King in the second half as Neilson tried to instigate a breakthrough in an error-strewn match which featured five bookings in the first hour.

Farid El Alagui cracks in a beauty of a consolation goal for Hibs
Farid El Alagui cracks in a beauty of a consolation goal for Hibs

But the pattern continued of passes under-hit and over-hit, of defenders closed down so that they resorted to hopeful punts up the pitch for enthusiastic strikers to chase.

Both sets of fans did their part to encourage their heroes and it was the home set who waited in expectation when centre-half Alim Ozturk lined up a free-kick on the edge of the D.

But when his effort clattered the Hibs wall the supporters could have been forgiven for perusing their Edinburgh Festival Fringe brochures to find alternative entertainment.

If they had left at that point they would have missed a touch of class from Nicholson as he dinked the ball past Robertson and darted for goal. His 25-yard strike gave Oxley no chance with 14 minutes remaining.

Four minutes later Robertson was shown a second yellow card and sent off for barging Buaben off the ball in the penalty area and the Hearts midfielder made the visitors pay with an assured finish.

The penalty incident aside, Hamilton had only plucked a few high balls out of the air all afternoon but he made a great save to deny El Alagui a headed goal from eight yards.

Hearts, though, should not have breathed easily because centre-forward Sow was shown a straight red card for elbowing the already bandaged Nelson and in the dying moments El Alagui lobbed the ball over a hesitant Danny Wilson and cracked in a consolation goal for Alan Stubbs' men.

Sam Nicholson blasts home for Hearts
Sam Nicholson makes the breakthrough as he blasts home for Hearts with 14 minutes to go
It was a painful afternoon for Hibs defender Michael Nelson and captain Liam Craig
It was a painful afternoon for Hibs defender Michael Nelson and captain Liam Craig



Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 13HamiltonBooked at 31mins
  • 3McHattieBooked at 54mins
  • 5OzturkBooked at 72mins
  • 30McGhee
  • 4Wilson
  • 12KingSubstituted forWalkerat 58'minutes
  • 6Gomis
  • 17BuabenBooked at 33mins
  • 11NicholsonSubstituted forKeatingsat 85'minutes
  • 10HoltSubstituted forOliverat 72'minutes
  • 20SowBooked at 88mins


  • 7Walker
  • 14Smith
  • 16Oliver
  • 19Keatings
  • 22McKay
  • 25Hollis
  • 29Smith


Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Oxley
  • 2GrayBooked at 59mins
  • 5Nelson
  • 11StantonSubstituted forKennedyat 79'minutes
  • 6Forster
  • 10CraigBooked at 90mins
  • 16Stevenson
  • 19HandlingSubstituted forAllanat 85'minutes
  • 8RobertsonBooked at 79mins
  • 7Harris
  • 9El Alagui


  • 14Heffernan
  • 17Tudur-Jones
  • 20Allan
  • 22Booth
  • 30Kennedy
  • 31Perntreou
  • 35Cummings
William Collum

Match Stats

Home TeamHeartsAway TeamHibernian
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Hearts 2, Hibernian 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Hearts 2, Hibernian 1.

  3. Post update

    Jamie Walker (Hearts) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Lewis Stevenson (Hibernian).

  5. Booking

    Liam Craig (Hibernian) is shown the yellow card.

  6. Post update

    Jamie Walker (Hearts) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Liam Craig (Hibernian).

  8. Post update

    Jamie Walker (Hearts) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Matthew Kennedy (Hibernian).

  10. Goal!

    Goal! Hearts 2, Hibernian 1. Farid El Alagui (Hibernian) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom right corner.

  11. Dismissal

    Osman Sow (Hearts) is shown the red card for fighting.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Osman Sow (Hearts).

  13. Post update

    Michael Nelson (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  14. Post update

    Corner, Hibernian. Conceded by Jack Hamilton.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Kevin McHattie (Hearts).

  16. Post update

    Farid El Alagui (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  17. Post update

    Attempt saved. Michael Nelson (Hibernian) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Hibernian. Scott Allan replaces Daniel Handling.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Hearts. James Keatings replaces Sam Nicholson.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Morgaro Gomis (Hearts).

As It Stood

1Queen of Sth22006066
2Raith Rovers22004136
View full Scottish Championship table

Top Stories